Candidates For Governor Debate

Education, ethics, immigration, and taxes, lots to cover in a hour. But the men who want to be Tennessee's Governor did it tonight, in a debate you could have seen on My East Tennessee TV.

The debate had tight rules on timing and questions, meaning both candidates had little choice but attack the issues rather than each other.

"We step up to problems, we roll up our sleeves, and we solve them. I want to do the same thing the next four years with education," said Phil Bredesen.

"Phil Bredesen has not earned the right to another four years in Tennessee," said Jim Bryson.

Bryson claims TennCare is spending more of your tax dollars now, than ever before Bredesen cut its health insurance for 170 thousand people.

Nor Bryson says, will Bredesen rule out a state income tax and he says the Governor should bear some blame for scandals in the TBI and the Tennessee Waltz Bribery Scandal in the legislature.

"Are you satisfied with the ethics legislation currently on
the books," asked Chris Clark, WTVF's news anchor and Moderator.

"I was satisfied that it was a good first step," said Bredesen.

The Governor says the special session on ethics limited cash contributions, put more restrictions on lobbyists, and created and ethics commission with teeth.

"We will work hard to propose more disclosure for legislators.
We will work hard to create a wall between lobbyists and legislatures," said Bryson.

Bryson believes Tennessee needs to smash a few walls to create higher paying jobs.

Rather than trying to out-bid other states to land new companies, he'd focus more on helping companies already in Tennessee.

Bredesen's pushing education. From expanding pre-kindergarten programs to helping hold down college tuition, training or re-training workers through the Tennessee's Community Colleges.

Bredesen would consider supporting a law to freeze your credit reports to keep certain information private.

Bryson says issue is interstate commerce, no state can go it alone.

As for immigration:

"The problem has been building for years and Governor Bredesen has not done anything about it," said Bryson.

"I want to put an oar in the water and help solve this problem."

Bredesen sent the national guard to the Mexican Border pushed for more criminal background checks. Bryson wants to abolish the driver's certificate program and make license test in English only.